France to invest in clean energy projects in Africa

hydelproject GiselaGiardino flickrFrance is keen to develop clean energy projects such as solar, wind and hydro in Africa. (Image source: GiselaGiardino/Flickr)France has revealed its plans to spend “billions of euros” on renewable energy and environmental projects in Africa over the next five years 

At the ongoing climate change summit COP21 in Paris, President Francois Hollande said that his government is planning to double investments in clean energy production, which could include wind farms, solar power and hydro projects. 

Though Africa produces considerably lesser number of greenhouse gases, the continent at large is vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change. 

Aside from investing in clean energy projects, France is also seeking to invest around US$1bn in Africa’s issues with desertification and tackle climate change-related challenges to the environment. 

Lake Chad, a primary source of water to Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger, faces a host of problems mainly due to pollution. One of the projects being planned for Africa includes the protection of the lake, which many believe is slowly disappearing due to rapid overuse. 

Another project, dubbed the Great Green Wall, will focus on creating pockets of trees to revive the soil. The project was initially intended to create a barrier of trees stretching from Sahel, West Africa to the Sahara Desert in the eastern part of the continent. 

The reason France is directing investments towards Africa, specifically to its former west African colonies, is because the country has significant security interests, stated a report in Reuters.

Meanwhile, African leaders want the biggest polluting nations to commit to financing as part of contributions to an internationally administered Green Climate Fund, that hopes to dispense US$100bn a year after 2020 as a way to finance the developing world's shift towards renewable energy.

 

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